Easy, tender baked fish infused with garlic and basil. The secret to this juicy fish is in the quick fish marinade with a few spices, garlic, fresh basil, a little citrus and extra virgin olive oil. A few tips make all the difference, so be sure to read on.

Serve it with lemon rice and my big white bean salad or any bright salad you love!

Marinated baked fish with garlic, basil, and bell peppers

We often forget that, just like chicken and meat, delicate foods like fish can benefit from a little time in a tasty marinade.

As long as you keep the acid low and the marinating time short, marinating a firm fish or a fish fillet like halibut or cod can do some good.

The marinade will infuse the fish with all sorts of mouthwatering flavors. It will also keep the fish juicy while protecting it from sticking or drying out during grilling or baking.

So if you're wondering, "what's the best way to bake fish without drying it out?" One way is to bake your fish in foil, which I know can be a controversial method. But another way is to simply marinate your fish!

About this recipe 

Today's tender baked fish recipe could not be any easier to make.

I used halibut fillet (but another white fish of your choosing will work). The fillets sat in the fridge in a slightly lemony marinade with garlic, basil, and a few spices. I let it marinade in the fridge for only 30 minutes.

To bake, I added the fish and the marinade over a bed of colorful bell peppers and shallots and baked for about 15 minutes. Easy!

My family loved this fish served with lemon rice and a big bowl of Greek salad.

Baked fish in pan

What's in the fish marinade?

You'll notice that I kept the citrus portion low using juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons of citrus) to 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Here's what is in my fish marinade:

  • Spices- a trio of dry oregano, coriander, and paprika.
  • Garlic- 10 fresh garlic cloves. I like to mince the garlic as finely as I can for maximum flavor.
  • Fresh basil- 15 fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons. The combination of fragrant fresh basil with the warm spices pack this fish marinade with great flavor. If you don't have basil, you can use parsley, cilantro, dill, or thyme to your liking.
  • Citrus- juice of 1 lemon, which is about 2 tablespoons of citrus. If you like, you can switch it out for lime, white wine, or a mild-tasting vinegar.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil- I used 6 tablespoons of Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil. Because the fish bakes with the marinade, it's important to use a tasty oil that will enhance the fish.

How long to marinate fish? 

Like I mentioned earlier, when it comes to marinating fish, it's important to keep the acid low and the marinating time short.  I used juice of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons of citrus) to 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

As far as how long you should marinate your fish can depend a bit on the kind of fish and how firm it is. In general, it's safe to marinate a fish fillet like halibut or even a flaky fish like cod for 30 minutes or so refrigerated.

If you're marinating a fairly thick fish steak like a tuna fish steak or a swordfish steak, you may go for 1 to 2 hours of marinating.

Always keep your marinated fish in the fridge.

How to Make this Baked Fish Recipe

There really are two steps to this fish fillet recipe

1. Season and Marinate Fish

Pat fish dry and season with salt and pepper.

Place the fish in a large zip-top bag and add spices, garlic, basil ribbons, olive oil and lemon juice. Seal shut. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Tip: Be sure to squeeze the air out of the zip-top bag before sealing. Place the bag flat on a plate and refrigerate. Turn the bag occasionally to keep the marinade distributed evenly.

Fish fillet marinating in a large zip-top bag. Part of baked fish recipe

2. Bake 

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Slice shallots and bell peppers into rounds and arrange them on the bottom of 9 x 13 baking dish. Add the fish on top. Pour all the marinade all over the fish. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the halibut is fully cooked and flakes easily (start checking at 10 minutes or so).

Fish fillet placed in baking pan with marinade, shallots and bell peppers

To be sure your halibut (or fish fillet) is cooked, use an instant read thermometer to check at the thickest part of the fish. Internal temperature should register 145 degrees F and your fish should be opaque and should flake easily with a fork.

Serve with 

Serve baked fish immediately with your favorite grain or lemon rice and a side of Greek salad, white bean salad, or herbed zucchini.

Browse our fish and seafood collection. And be sure to view our collection of Mediterranean diet recipesFor all recipes, visit us here

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Marinated baked fish with garlic, basil, and bell peppers

Easy Baked Fish with Garlic and Basil


  • Author: Suzy
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6

Description

Easy, tender baked fish infused with garlic and basil. The secret to this juicy fish is in the quick fish marinade with a few spices, garlic, fresh basil, a little citrus and extra virgin olive oil.

Serve it with lemon rice and my big white bean salad or any bright salad you love!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 lb fish fillet like halibut
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 bell peppers any color, sliced (I used 1 red and 1 green bell pepper)
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced

Instructions

  1. Pat fish fillet dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Place the  fish in a large zip-top bag. Add the oregano, coriander, paprika, minced garlic, basil, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Zip the bag shut and massage to be sure the fish is evenly coated in the marinade. Marinated for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour in the fridge (see notes).
  3. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Arrange bell peppers and shallots in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Place the fish on top and pour the marinade over it.
  5. Bake in heated oven for 15 minutes or until fish is done and flakes easily.

Notes

  • Tip for how long to marinade fish: I used halibut fillet in this recipe and I typically marinate it about 30 minutes. Thicker fish steaks like tuna or swordfish could be marinated for 1 to 2 hours, but that is not the kind of fish I would recommend for this recipe.
  • How to know if your fish is cooked? To be sure your halibut (or fish fillet) is cooked, use an instant read thermometer to check at the thickest part of the fish. Internal temperature should register 145 degrees F and your fish should be opaque and should flake easily with a fork.
  • Visit our Online Shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including Private Reserve Greek EVOO and all natural and organic spices used in this recipe!
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Fish and Seafood
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Baked Fish, Baked Fish Fillet, Halibut Recipe

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Made this recipe today and it was amazing! Luckily I found fresh halibut at Whole Foods and it was expensive but totally worth it. I followed the recipe exactly - no substitutes or changes. My husband and I both enjoyed this recipe so much it will be on the menu again soon!! I served it with cole slaw and sautéed string beans. So so good!!!!

  2. Made this cod recipe last night and everyone enjoyed it! Just used lemon juice, evoo, basil, and s/p because I was in a hurry ... and the fish was moist, flaky, and delish! I will definitely be making this easy dish again ... so glad that I found it, Suzy! Thanks so much!!!

  3. Made this. Delicious. Then I used the leftovers for fish cakes the next morning for breakfast using hash browns. Amazing.

  4. Made it last night. Absolutely delicious. Simple and super. Didn't use corriander or basil. Used fresh dill instead, which worked really well.
    Thanks

    mrgnk

  5. Dear Suzy,
    We made this and it was delicious. Thank you for your tasty, COLORFUL recipes!! You are teaching us how to cook FISH and we are lovin’ it!

    Please know, you are much appreciated.

    George Donner
    Fort Wayne, IN

  6. This was excellent! The whole family loved it, including the kids. I used a rather thick fillet of seabass which required closer to 25 minutes cook time. I only used five garlic cloves as I was worried it would be too overwhelming, I might try a few more next time... A very tasty delicious marinade, that I will be making again very soon.

  7. Made this recipe using cod for dinner along with a salad. This recipe was so delicious. The flavors were awesome but also it was so moist. I find cod a tricky fish to work with (the grocery stores don't always have the freshest options) but this one was so easy. I had a 1 lb cod filet and I halved this recipe. I didn't find it dry at all like other comments suggested. My partner loves seafood and he even said this was the best cod he'd ever tasted. Big win!

  8. This was so delicious! I'm definitely making it again. I used tilapia and it came out perfect. I didn't have coriander so I used cumin and used less seasoning since my fish were small. Thank you for the yummy recipe!

    1. Hi Sarah. Sure, a little bit of pesto will work here but remember that pesto does already include garlic so you'll want to adjust that as needed.

    1. Hi, Kathy! I have not tried it myself, but I don't see why not! Of course, you may need to adjust the cooking time a bit. Just keep an eye on the fish so it doesn't get overcooked.

  9. I made this recipe last night with some beautiful fresh, ling cod. I used 3 really large garlic cloves (instead of the 10 called for) and I didn't have shallots so I used leeks (which I roasted for 15 minutes minutes before adding the other ingredients to the baking dish) with the red peppers under the fish. Everything else I followed the recipe. We all agreed that it was absolutely delicious!!

  10. Just finished making this recipe. Flavors are delicious, so will be making this again. I found the cod I used to be a bit tough and the flesh tight. Thinking maybe the lemon in the marinade. I’m going to try to leave out the lemon and marinate as directed, and squeeze it on at the end for a bright contrast to the finished product. What do you think? The peppers make a great accompaniment to the fish!! Thanks

  11. Fantastic recipe, and truly so easy to make on a busy/lazy weeknight. I used cod and subbed peppers (can’t eat those) with zucchini slices which worked beautifully in the same amount of bake time. Thank you for this recipe. It’s going into my dinner rotation!

  12. Can cod be used instead of halibut?
    Thanks for sharing. It looks wonderful and I’m looking forward to making it.

  13. I'm only using 1 lb of fish and did the regular amount of marinade. That's a lot of garlic. It doesn't overwhelm?